Topic: I've Found The Secret To Lemons Reliability
And that secret is starting with a 254k mile daily driver. This is the story of Futility Motorsport's new car.
I tried not to say much about this car publicly before the NH race, because I wanted to see the reactions in person. I knew it was going to be funny. We showed up with a really nice looking 2008 Saab 9-5 Aero Wagon. How? It was my dad's daily for 8 years. Back at the beginning of this year he finally accepted that he should get a new car. The saab had a lot of problems that made it annoying as a daily. Every time you turn it on you get to clear out a bunch of warnings about things being broken. Like the backup sensors, the auto leveling headlights, the tire pressure warning system, the fuel level sender, and a few other nice to haves. But none of these matter in a race car right?
We threw the idea around a few times, looked at cost, joked about it, but I had said I was taking the year off while I try to save up for a house. Finally My dad called mid summer and said "I"ve got a budget, I think we can do this for not too much." And, well, I already missed racing. So screw it, let's do this. We dragged the car up to my apartment early September along with 94ft of 1.75" DOM and I set to work.
Now I've never built a cage. I've never bent a single tube in my life. But I have watched a lot of youtube, studied many cars at the track, and I've spent the last 2 years getting decent with a MIG welder. So really, how hard could it be? The answer is kind of hard. I worked on the car almost every day for 3 weeks to get the cage done. Dad came up at least two nights a week to help. It was exhausting, but damn it if I'm not proud of the results.
Three Pedal Mafia was kind enough to lend me one of their benders. I rigged up this gloriously ghetto stand for it. I wasn't allowed to permanently attach it to the space I was working in, so it pins to some tube I bolted to the loading dock bumpers.
A few various pictures from the build process.
I finished the cage at the very end of September. It took me until the race to finish all the rest of the work. Over the following weeks I worked on building seat mounts so that we could have the seats on the stock power bases (with functioning memory positions!)
Removing the sunroof and covering it. Removing the stock fuel system and installing the fuel cell out of the daytona.
Finding brakes, mounting harnesses, figuring out where to punch a hole in the firewall for a kill switch, all the little crap that takes way more time that you ever expect. Thursday before the race I actually installed the brakes, changed out a leaking coolant bypass valve, dropped the fuel tank, plumbed the fuel cell, and ran kill switch wires. Friday at the track I installed the kill switch. Amazingly all those things worked perfectly on the first try. Sometimes I amaze myself.
Up Next, Race weekend.